For almost two years now, since we’ve moved out to the Bay Area and I’ve experienced my first long stretch without a job since my freshman year of college, I’ve been planning to write about working in the home. There are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions associated with the kind of work I do that I’d love to address, but realistically they can’t all be discussed in one blog post. I’ll start with this one, “what do you do all day?”.
Usually my response is to list all of the responsibilities of the home until the listener is weary and regrets their ignorant question: make breakfast, do laundry, buy groceries, make dinner, do the dishes, clean the house, pay bills, feed the pets, clean their litter, sort the mail, make/cancel reschedule drs./dentists/etc appointments, etc.
It’s not nearly as satisfying as it could be to give this response because I usually don’t have the energy to break things down even further. For example, “clean the house” should really be “scrub the toilets, sinks, showers, mop the kitchen floor, vacuum, dust, wipe the counters, sweep the deck, etc”.
Well, and to be really really satisfying things like “wipe the counters” should really be “wipe kitchen counters, move all appliances on the counter, wipe again, get Windex, remove everything from coffee table, spray and wipe table, wipe down counters in both bathrooms, etc.”
I won’t address the issues that come up like, “where’s the Windex?” or “shit, the vacuum cleaner bag is full and we’re all out. Now I get to add run to Target to the list. Oh yeah, they don’t carry our kind of vacuum cleaner bag.” and so on. This is all too time-consuming even to explain.
Add to this that I am not just homemaker, but am working on a book, I am the caretaker for our building here in CA, and that we own and rent out our house in MN and I can guarantee you I have more than a full day. As an example and because I feel like venting I will outline the events of my workday yesterday.
- 2am sleep
- 8am wake up
- 8:15 call city of minneapolis is regards to citations that they have not informed us of for a year
- 9 eat
- 9:30 call mom to see if she can help us deal with the city. Call Jaye to let him know what’s up and see if he noticed any work the city had done on our house
- 10 look up consumer/citizen advocacy/advice organizations. Chat with Dave about conversation with Mom and Jaye.
- 10:30 vent on Facebook, check email, email accountant for recommendations for lawyers, email sister-in-law to confirm city’s stupidity
- 11 shower
- 11:30 chat with Prashant about lunch, where to go, where he’s staying in town, etc.
- noon apologize to Prashant for not leaving yet, look up address where he’s staying, lunch place and UPS store. Call UPS to make sure they haven’t accidentally sent out the office chair I told them I would pick up. In the meantime, continue to answer emails from everyone helping us figure out problem and chat with Dave to keep him updated. More venting on Facebook.
- 1 Call restaurant to see when they close since it will be late for lunch by the time I get out there. Get ready to leave, making sure I have addresses, shopping lists, UPS package slip.
- 1:30 leave for lunch with Prashant
- 2 lunch with Prashant
- 3 stop at UPS to pick up ergo chair
- 4 get bunny food, litter, and a nice writing pen
- 5 unpack car, but leave some stuff in trunk to unpack later so I don’t kill myself on the stairs.
- 5:30 make appointment with neurologist to rule out reasons for my headaches. Do you think you might know why I get them? 😉
- 6 blog and wonder if I’ll get time to eat before yoga
- 6:30 go to the gym for some much-needed yoga
- 8 realize chair is broken and ask Dave to begin process of having a new one sent out. I’m gonna lose my mind if I have to deal with another problem today.
I realize that this is not a typical day, but the problem is that in this line of work there is no typical day which makes organizing a schedule even more challenging.
I would love to hear stories from other homemakers or homemakers/something else. Maybe y’all can do a better job of explaining how hard and time consuming it is.